Trauma Healing, Race, and Middle Ground with Shyla Cash

My guest on this special episode is my client, Shyla Cash. Shyla is a life coach who works with high functioning women who are dealing with traumatic childhoods or are still dealing with family dysfunction as a result of their trauma. Over the course of our conversation, Shyla has opened my eyes, not only to my own experience of trauma, but to new perspectives in thinking about systematic racism and racial injustice, and I’m so excited to share this with you today.

Both of us came to the coaching world to start on our own healing journey and to bring awareness to our individual traumas, and we discuss the power of coaching in this type of work. She has an interesting perspective on the crisis going on in our country right now, and I know that many of you may relate to feeling like you fall in the “middle ground” in this conversation.

Tune in today to hear Shyla’s thoughts on trauma healing, racism, allyship, and thought policing. This is an uncomfortable time as we experience a collective awakening to centuries-long oppression, and I’m so appreciative of Shyla’s willingness to be a leader not only in my community, but in spearheading the kind of trauma work that many of us need.

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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why you have to have grace and compassion for yourself.
  • The importance of working on healing your traumas.
  • Why coming into awareness to heal feels unsafe.
  • How both Shyla and I came to the work of coaching.
  • Why Shyla questioned the existence of White privilege.
  • Shyla and her family’s experience of racism.
  • How this is a time of awakening, not only for White people, but for Black people too.
  • Shyla’s concerns about thought policing.
  • Why Shyla feels like she falls in the middle ground in the conversation around systemic racism.
  • Shyla’s thoughts on White allyship and having authentic conversations.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to the Make Money as a Life Coach podcast, where sales expert and master coach Stacey Boehman teaches you how to make your first 2K, 20K, and 200K using her proven formula.

Stacey: Let’s just start here. Welcome to the podcast.

Shyla: Thank you.

Stacey: In some of the intro conversation because I think it’s so interesting. And here’s what I want to say is because I’m learning, I want to learn it all. I actually went to Barnes & Noble. They didn’t have a ton and I was actually kind of shocked. There was no – I guess I expected there to be something pointing me to books of what to read.

And there really wasn’t. I actually picked up some about the history of Native American tribes too because now I’m feeling more compelled to learn about my people too. But I actually did pick up some books with some different titles, which I don’t know how I’m going to feel about it. It feels a little bit like we’re on a rollercoaster. Like, buckle up.

I got one from the person who used to run the NRA and she wrote a book about outrage culture. And I was like, it just was intriguing. And then I bought this other book from somebody else that’s a completely different argument. And I really do subscribe to that if you’re going to watch Fox News, watch CNN, or if you’re going to watch CNN, watch Fox News.

I led with Fox News not because I watch news at all, but people know by now my fiancé is Republican. I would consider myself a Democrat. And he watches the news every day very religiously and I think it’s important to be educated on both sides and I’ve been thinking about this a lot for my business. I’m curious your thoughts.

But I want to create a safe place for everyone. So you were saying there are some Black leaders, very successful, Republicans who don’t agree with the Black Lives Matter movement. And then there are some really successful people that do. And I don’t know, is it a little crazy to think I could create a safe space for both? For everyone?

Like, that’s the thing I’m playing around with in my mind. And I think that I could – I have a hard battle ahead of me I think because we don’t know how to disagree. And we’re seeing now the disagreements are – we’re making them mean really deep things about each other. When we don’t agree. And I’ve done this work and I’ve had to do this work to be in a relationship with my partner. It was a time – I mean, I went to the women’s march and he was like, “For sure I thought you were going to break up with me when you came back.”

Shyla: Oh my god.

Stacey: My therapist at the time was even like, I can’t believe you’re still in a relationship.

Shyla: It is really that deep though. It is.

Stacey: Yeah. But here’s what I will say and we’re going to talk about all kinds of things today. But this is the work I’ve done on myself is I genuinely have done the work to believe that other people’s thoughts and beliefs do not cause my feelings.

And that the reason I identify as being a liberal person politically is because I want to fight for everybody’s voice to be heard and to be in integrity with that, I feel like I have to also make room for people’s voices who don’t agree with mine. I don’t have to agree with it, but I want to make room for it and space for it in the world.

And so this is an interesting time. My newsfeed is half and half. I don’t usually do Facebook, but if I’m on there, 50% of the people agree with what’s happening, 50% of the people don’t. And I just want to make space for all of that, but do it safely. And it feels tricky.

Shyla: Yes.

Stacey: So what are your thoughts about that? First of all, introduce yourself because we just got off talking like a love fest here. So introduce yourself to everybody that’s listening that hasn’t heard of you before. Tell them what you do as a life coach and let’s talk about why we have you here on the podcast. I’ll say that. You just introduce yourself and tell people what you do.

Shyla: Okay. I’m Shyla Cash. I am a life coach and I work with women who are high-functioning but who are dealing with very traumatic childhoods or still dealing with family dysfunction as a result of that. So working with people who are not the typical picture, the stigmatized picture of what you would think of somebody who has been through horrific abuse, neglect, or had a parent who was an addict or had a personality disorder.

I work with women who are functioning in the world and actually are very comfortable with pushing themselves and showing up and doing all these things, but have an inner world of trauma and turmoil in their emotional body, physical body, spiritual body. And we do that work. The model has been very helpful with that.

I mean, that’s not the only piece of the work. There’s a lot of sort of more embodiment work there, nervous system work, but the model does help because of course, we make meaning when we experience these terrible things at the hands of our parents when we’re so young, and we’re forming our views of the world.

Dr. Bruce Perry talks about brain imprinting. And so a huge part of that imprinting has to do with our thoughts, and that’s where the model has been so helpful in working with my clients and working with myself as well because I experienced this kind of trauma. That’s how I came into this work.

I had a mom who – have a mom who has narcissistic personality disorder and paranoid delusion, and a lot of intergenerational trauma in my family. And I came to this work 12 years ago to heal myself and work through these things and change the family tree.

Stacey: Wow, that’s so amazing. Well, we were just talking about – you were saying that I have done the deep work. I will tell you; I have done a lot of deep work on childhood trauma.

Shyla: I can tell. I can feel that. That’s what I was telling you before we started. I can totally see that and feel that from you.

Stacey: I got into coaching to heal so much of my own pain. And I think the reason why I – I’m very smart. I always got great grades, I had a double major in college and went to a really great university and did it in four years and maintained a great grade point average and worked. High functioning, but by the time I got to my mid-20s, my results in my life, it was like, it felt like I couldn’t figure out how to be an adult and have adult results.

Like, how do I have enough money to buy a house or have enough money to buy a car or be in a place where I can take care of a child? I really struggled with transitioning into what I was seeing other people do so effortlessly. Healthy relationships, get married, which is so crazy.

But I really saw that. I watched myself not be able to acclimate to what normal adults were doing at my age. Now, I do think some of that too was I was never meant to be an employee and I was meant to be an entrepreneur. A lot of victim mentality.

And I want to say two things. There was a lot of victimization I experienced as in I actually was a victim of things in the world, and then a lot of victim mentality that I had developed in response to not processing the emotions that came from that. And that’s how I found coaching.

I mean, I just had results after results after result where I was like, my life is a mess and this isn’t normal. I know I’m capable of more, but I can’t for some reason acclimate into adult life. Is that what you experience with a lot of your clients?

Shyla: Yeah. And I think it’s not even that. It’s so interesting how you phrase that. Because that’s the experience of feeling like you’re alien somehow because of what you experienced as a child and the meaning that we make of that and not only the meaning we make of that, but also our physical system, our physiology, how we process emotion in our nervous system, what we deem as to be safe, what our window of tolerance is for stress and resilience and all of that.

Even though we can, and we actually are. So if you were to look back at that situation, you probably were actually functioning okay. I hear you talk about being the best seller in your work and all of that stuff, so you were functioning okay. But that feeling, that sense of alienation from what seems to be so easy for everybody else is that sort of sensation of chaffing against life from the inside that so many people feel and it’s just like you said. It’s like there’s something wrong or there’s a puzzle piece that’s not clicking. Like I’m not at home here.

And that’s where I do see that a lot, to answer your question and not ramble on. I do see that a lot with my clients and that was my experience too, because that’s how I felt. Like I’m not measuring up, but then I look back and I was like, actually, I was getting As in my business degree, I was doing all these things, but still from the inside, something was off.

And I really think that’s our intuition, that’s our nervous system saying something’s not quite in flow, something’s not quite aligned here, but for the high performer and the high functioning person, it’s like, we just like to push over that. We learn how to use our higher brain to push past that because there’s this internal sense of there is a lot of pain under there, there is a lot of deep, dark emotional stuff that we’re afraid to look at and access.

Stacey: Yeah. And I think for me, it showed up in anger. It was just like, anger at everything. And we were just coaching on this today or one of the days in 2K. But it’s like, when you have – actually, it was a couple days ago. But when you have any kind of trauma from childhood and it carries into your adult like and you don’t address it, and I’m speaking knowing that we’re talking to coaches here.

Because we just coached on some of the childhood trauma in 2K during our BIPOC coaching. Trauma has come up that happened in childhood. When you get in relationships, you start to learn that some people were loved deeply and immensely and then you see yourself like, wait, what happened? I didn’t have that childhood experience.

And then it shows up in your business, it shows up in your ability to connect with other people and your ability to build an audience and create a safe place for that audience. I saw all of that. I had to deal with all of it in the beginning. Like my mistrust of women from abuse that I experienced young and my ability to connect with them and all of that had to be cleaned up before I could ever make any real money.

And I think people don’t realize that as coaches even. We have human beings in the world that need this help more than ever, and then we also have coaches that have no idea that that’s going to be the entry for success, overcoming that.

Shyla: Yeah. And it’s funny, I think because people who are high performing, you’re just high performing. You just are. You can probably relate to this. If you’re in an environment and there’s an opportunity to get ahead, you will get ahead.

Stacey: Yes, 100%.

Shyla: Right? And so, so many people that are coaches, they will get success. But how does that success feel? Do you feel like you’re fighting for your life every day even though you’ve got hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank?

Stacey: Yeah, that’s like the hustling, right?

Shyla: Yeah.

Stacey: Or the like, not being able to be in the room. I see that come up in my mastermind. People come in and they really struggle. I struggled in million-dollar mentoring, and I still do. I notice it all the time of feeling like there’s still some kind of difference. They’re all one and I’m out here and I’m different.

Shyla: And I think that’s like, inherent to everybody’s experience when they’re trying something new and becoming an entrepreneur. But I think if you’ve got those layers underneath of complex PTSD or adverse childhood experiences and trauma, there’s a whole other layer there because you don’t have the base foundation of that experience, that felt sense in the home of feeling safe to be seen.

Because there’s a lot of people who go out into the world and the world is cruel, or they’re perceived it to be hard, but they know that they have a home base. And what that does to the brain and how we develop and how we function makes it a lot easier if you have those foundations.

And so a lot of the childhood trauma work is going in and looking at where – because then you’re building your life on top of this missing foundation and you’re still doing it. That’s what’s so incredible and so amazing is you’re still doing it, but there’s all of this brain imprinting, this survival energies in the nervous system and all this stuff, and you’re still doing it.

And of course, we’re so not compassionate to ourselves and we don’t see that, and that’s a huge part of the work. But it’s just so fascinating to see that so many people and probably coaches that are listening to this that are like, your ears are perking up or your hairs are perking up, it’s like, you are still doing all this incredible work but you know you have this gnawing sense that something from the past, whether it’s nightmares, whether it’s the deeper sensations that come up or panic attacks that seem to be out of nowhere, have grace for yourself and recognize what you have done in the midst of this turmoil.

Stacey: Yeah, the ability to connect with other people. That’s probably the biggest thing that I experience with my students is they really struggle to network and want to figure out like, how can I build a business without having to build any relationships with other humans? Because their brain at a very early age learned that other humans are scary and harmful.

Shyla: That’s right. Yeah, that’s right.

Stacey: And I think that that’s a great segue into what we’re experiencing now with racism and people everywhere, all over the world feeling unsafe and trying to figure out, grapple with where am I safe and where can I be seen and where am I taken care of, what is my home base? And we’re seeing this in coaching communities. Students questioning like, is this a safe place? And feeling like the world is in a safe place. Do you want to speak on that for a second?

Shyla: Yeah. I think it’s super interesting because I think what we see online is a reflection of how people are feeling, but also in some ways is lacking because the online communities, it’s like we start to feel like it’s our whole world, but it’s not. And so I think this feeling of feeling unsafe, I think some of that comes from – because when you get into that survival mode and you’re online, it’s like you can’t pull yourself away from that because you feel like there is an imminent threat there, there is something there you need to pay attention to.

So you’re scrolling through these feeds, you’re watching these videos, and you’re going, going, going, going, and that’s adding to the feeling of being unsafe. And then when we talk about what we witnessed with George, like I just talked about this on my own podcast. What we witnessed with George, literally the whole world watched somebody be murdered.

Stacey: Yes. I watched the whole eight minutes. I had to. And I don’t know if that was very good for my brain, but I just felt like, I don’t know, it had to happen, I had to watch that.

Shyla: Yeah, that’s commendable. Because also watching that, that’s traumatic. That is traumatic.

Stacey: I could not stop. It just felt like – anyway, keep going.

Shyla: Yeah. To watch somebody be murdered is traumatic, especially when your subconscious knows that that’s real. That was a real thing that happened. And then you talk about the intergenerational trauma with the dynamics in the states and the dynamics of slavery and how these things get passed on.

Like Dr. Gabor Maté and Dr. Bruce Perry and Dr. Peter Levine have done all this incredible pioneering work in the field of trauma, showing us, hey, this stuff doesn’t just go away. It lives in the brain. It lives in the nervous system. If you don’t work on this stuff and heal this stuff, these attachment issues and connection, like you were saying, feeling safe in the world.

This is going to move itself through the family tree until somebody says, hey. And I think the systems in the world are such a mirror of that. Like, if we don’t deal with these things, if we just keep trying to look away, it’s going to keep making its way through until we say – and I think we are at a pivotal point right now, like, okay, we need to look at this. We need to feel this, we need to go through this, we need to address this.  And it does feel unsafe to come into awareness. I think that’s where we all are.

Stacey: That’s like, the quote of the year.

Shyla: It does. It feels unsafe to come into awareness because there’s a reason why we kept that out of our awareness. It was there, we knew it. We knew it. I always say knowing is different from awareness. We knew, but now we have become aware. And now we’re going through sort of the clusterfuck of like, wow.

It’s sort of like if there’s an addict in the family and the family does an intervention, that is the most painful, uncomfortable, to usher somebody else into awareness like that. It’s so uncomfortable and there’s so much pain and so many fears, but it’s so necessary for the whole system to heal.

Stacey: That’s like what we’re doing right now, right? In this world, we’re having an intervention.

Shyla: It really is. It really is. It’s like, it’s all been there. We’ve seen Trayvon Martin, we’ve seen all this stuff happen. And now it’s sort of like – and we’ve seen Colin Kaepernick kneeling. We’ve seen all these things go on. And we’ve known them, but we haven’t been fully launched into awareness. For some reason, we were ready as a global community with George. It was the tipping point for us.

Stacey: Well, I think the pandemic set that up perfectly.

Shyla: I think you’re right. That was the perfect assist. Everybody just be inside and be with yourselves and be super uncomfortable.

Stacey: And watching the news and social media. Get ready. We’re about to have an intervention.

Shyla: That’s right.

Stacey: Everyone’s going to deal with their pain, everyone’s going to step into awareness. It’s going to be ugly and messy and beautiful at the same time.

Shyla: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I have so many thoughts about it. I’m half Black, my mom’s Chinese and White and my dad is Jamaican. My grandpa comes from poverty, like bootstrap, bootstrap. Like in Jamaica, my family went to visit his kids, so my dad and his siblings went to visit where my grandpa comes from. And they were just amazed at the level of poverty.

So he left when he was really young, moved to London on a ship, went back, got my grandma, moved her to London. And had my dad, and they – the lived experienced of racism that my grandpa had – my grandpa talks about how – he always tells this story, ever since I was little he would tell me this story.

When they took my dad to places in the stroller with the blanket over the stroller, people would like, lift up the blanket and be like, does he have a tail? This is London, right?

Stacey: Oh my god.

Shyla: Yeah. And he’s still alive. So he remembers these things vividly. Vividly, vividly. But you know, he really was a very strong example for his children and even for me today. He really worked hard and always works hard and is just such an intellectual. A very smart man. And then my dad, his experiences of racism, he tells me about those too. He was a very good hockey player, so we have in Canada, this thing called AAA Hockey, which is what all the…

Stacey: We have like, AAA baseball here.

Shyla: Yeah. Like all the kids play hockey. It’s a thing. Everybody has to play hockey. So my dad was actually very good at it, and he was like, one of the only players that would go to these trips with the team. And his experiences of being called the N word and my grandpa going and just watching and making sure things were okay.

So they have really strong lived experiences of racism. And I have to be honest, I, until this thing happened with George Floyd, I really struggled with terms like White privilege and I struggled with phrases like whiteness. We’re seeing that a lot online, whiteness, right?

And I knew that – I wasn’t against them, but I always sort of questioned their merit. I knew them on some level, I wasn’t ever rallying against them or saying they don’t exist, but I always just kind of questioned the idea I think because – and this is the kicker as a Black woman – of my privilege in the sense that my grandpa came to give his kids a better life.

My dad experienced racism and did the things that he did and now, I’m here in Canada living this incredible life. And not being “oppressed,” and so that must mean that White privilege doesn’t exist. It’s like, an example of my own privilege in the sense that in the communities that I’m in and the spaces that I’m a part of, of course I’ve experienced racism, definitely.

But in terms of institutional racism or systematic racism, I would say that that wasn’t my experience. It was more maybe the subconscious things that I wasn’t aware of, maybe my own internalized view of myself that I wasn’t quite looking at of maybe I was inferior. I used to always think I had to wear my hair straight.

I went on this whole curly hair journey. When I graduated from university, I went on this whole curly hair journey because I was like, why was I always wearing my hair straight? But subconsciously, it’s like, Barbie’s hair was straight, Dawson’s Creek, their hair is straight, The OC, their hair is straight, Gossip Girl, their hair is straight.

But I didn’t recognize that that’s what was going on. It’s like, how in Toni Morrison’s book, The Bluest Eye, Pecola always wants to have these blue eyes, and she’s this Black girl growing up in Ohio when there was a lot more segregation and stuff. And it’s this internalized view that I think a lot of minorities or others may have that we are not even aware of. I messaged Essence, who is like, holy queen.

Stacey: She is a little holy queen.

Shyla: She is the best. Like, that was so sacred. Everything that happened there, I won’t share that. But I messaged her and I was like, “Oh my god, Essence, you’re amazing. I wasn’t even aware of all this stuff inside of me.” And she said, “I think on some level I wasn’t either.” And she was like, this is a planetary shift.

Stacey: So this is like, not even just an awakening for White people into understand systemized racism, but this is an awakening for Black women as well, Black men, to understand what was there, what traumas have been in their brain that that haven’t been acknowledging.

Shyla: Yes. Brain and body, for sure. And so I still – I have to be honest because not all Black people think the same either.

Stacey: Yeah, we want you to be super honest.

Shyla: I still wrestle with these ideas because I do recognize – I listen to a lot of voices. And so we were talking before we started recording that I do listen to Shelby Steele and Walter Williams and Ben Carson and these very conservative Black leaders. I listen to their voices and I read their work because I just think they’re very intelligent, wise individuals who were growing up in a time of segregation.

And they take issue with systematic racism. They’re not saying racism doesn’t exist, but they take issue with the idea that it’s structural and that it’s sort of this pervasive idea that’s destroying America. And they take issue with – some of them take issue with the Black Lives Matter movement and not in the sense, I don’t think they believe that Black lives don’t matter, but in the sense that they feel like – Shelby Steele says it’s like, he talks about how he feels like Black people in America have struggled to find a secure identity when the slaves were set free.

It’s like there was this element of learned helplessness where we almost can recreate oppression. Obviously, there was real oppression. Jim Crow and segregation and…

Stacey: There is this real oppression that happens too when you experience racism, so this is so interesting.

Shyla: So it’s very interesting, and I like to hold both. Because then there’s the radical view, I shouldn’t even say it’s radical, but there’s the other side of that, which is like, no, systematic racism is a thing. We need to be on alert, we need to be anti-racist, it’s not enough, we can’t deny that it exists. And so it’s like, I think I fall somewhere in the middle of that.

Because I’m not going to say that what happened to George Floyd wasn’t racism. I think you have to be almost blind to feel that way. And I also recognize though that I think in certain communities that there might be more systematic oppression there because of the power in balance in terms of the financial dynamics and the economic dynamics where maybe there is this sort of subconscious belief that these people are dispensable, they’re disposable.

There’s not going to be as much accountability there. And I think that also has to do with not just race, but also economic standing. Because if you look at what happened with OJ, it was almost the complete opposite. It was like, no, we can’t arrest OJ. Even the cops, White cops were like, no, this is OJ Simpson, he’s a football player. Because he had this power, this prestige, this status. How could he have done something wrong? So it’s like, I think it’s complex. It’s more complex than I think is being reflected online in some ways.

Stacey: And I think it’s like, I was just on a coaching call with my coach Brooke, and she was talking about as coaches, we can coach on anything. And we don’t have to learn anything, but the more educated you are, the more nuanced your coaching can be.

Shyla: That’s right.

Stacey: And that is what I think I’ve learned in coaching my Black students and my students of color in 2K this week is the nuance of that coaching, that for me, I want to help get economic opportunity in the hands of as many people as possible. I feel compelled to gear that power towards women because I am a woman and that is my experience.

And now I’m being awakened to really gearing that power to my African American students, to my students of color because I think you’re right. You know, Chavonne was talking about this. Money creates opportunity, it creates power, it creates a bigger voice. And I think if it exists, even if it’s like there are certain areas where it’s more systematic as others, as you’re saying, for me, I’m like, let’s just get at it.

Let’s get at it and let’s do it in a loving way and I’m going to just start with educating myself as much as I possibly can. And I think as a coach, it’s like, you’ve got – every single person I’ve had on this podcast has had, either in our pre-conversations or our conversation in the podcast, different opinions.

And so I’ve had some of my Black students say I don’t think you should have spoke out, and some of them say I was waiting for you to speak out. And I think that to me, that’s the same as – it’s not the same, but if I have people that half the people who think they love money and half the people who think making money is really horrible. It’s like, I need to be able to coach both of my students.

I need to be able to coach everybody. And I think that that is what we’re called to do is have these conversations and just start bringing it up into our awareness to see. Where is this showing up? Where is this in our business, in our coaching? Where is this happening for our clients that they may not realize it?

Because I even had trauma come up in this experience that I’ve had I my 20s that I would never accredit it to stuff that’s coming up now if it wasn’t our collective awareness is making us face and look at from all different angles what’s happening in our country when it comes to race, when it comes to equality, equity, inclusion, all of that. None of that would have been able to come up if it weren’t into this place of questioning everything and being aware.

Shyla: Yeah. And representation too was something that I never honestly was like, felt like I needed. I never was like, I wish there was more Black people in the coaching industry. I never even thought about that. But I had this huge conversation with my husband who’s White. I had this huge conversation with my husband one day when I was talking to him about everything because everybody’s amplifying Black voices is the thing right now, it’s the trend.

And so everybody’s like, my whole Instagram is like, black, black, black, black, black, black, black, black.  And I said to Nathan like, “I never realized how little thought I put in. It’s so beautiful.” And I’m bawling. Because it was something didn’t recognize that I wasn’t seeing.

Stacey: Hadn’t even been in your awareness.

Shyla: Because I would never be like, well, I’m not going to become a million-dollar coach because there’s no other Black coaches that I see. That’s just not how I operate. I’m going to do it. I don’t need that. That’s how I feel. But it was like, the shift in my, like you were saying, we’re all healing, we’re all growing because it was a shift in me to go, oh, maybe that was something. Maybe I didn’t need it, but it sure does feel good.

Stacey: Yeah. It’s something that impacted you. And I think to think about too like, this is something that I’ve been doing a lot of writing for me is our thoughts create our results, and we can read your post too because I think it’s so incredible. Our thoughts create our results, and so we have choice over all of our thoughts to create any result we want.

We don’t have to keep any thought that we don’t want to keep. But only if we know that our thoughts create our results. So to me, we have to get that message out in a big way. We have to let people know that they have a choice. I don’t – do you know what I’m saying? It’s like…

Shyla: I do.

Stacey: There are people in the world that want to create results, that want to create money, that want to do things, and they may not have the thought that you have that they don’t need that leader. They may not have that worldview. And you know, they should have it, first of all. I think everybody should have representation of someone successful that they can look up to and that’s why I want to create leaders.

I want my students to all be leaders so they can go represent, so that someone will see themselves in them and be like, yes, now I can do it too. I think that’s a huge piece of it. But if someone doesn’t know, like, they’ve never had someone say you can do this, this is possible for you, and then they don’t have thought work, I don’t think anyone stays stuck on purpose. I don’t think anyone limits themselves in any way on purpose.

We have to have opportunity shown to us, and I think that there are so many people that don’t have opportunity shown to them. And I think that’s a piece of the puzzle too is like, you can’t make changes that you don’t know you can make either.

Shyla: Yes, because it’s that awareness piece. If I hadn’t grown up around certain types of people, maybe I wouldn’t have had that perspective like, I don’t need that, I’m going to do me no matter what. And I think that is the experience of coaching. We were talking about this on another podcast was like, that is the experience of coaching.

When you have somebody – in my case, it’s this nagging belief like, I’ll never heal from this, I’ll never overcome this, this is just normal, this is just my way of life, I’m just going to keep pushing and being successful on the outside and feeling like I’m dying on the inside, this is normal. But…

Stacey: Yeah, I thought it was normal too. I didn’t know there was another way.

Shyla: Right. But then when you’re introduced to a coach or a practitioner that is demonstrating for you another way and living in another way, that is a whole change up. That’s a changeup of your paradigm, that’s a change up of your neural pathways because something new has been introduced into the frame to grapple with.

Like, wait a minute, I thought – our thoughts create our results. I thought it was true that I was going to, I felt it, it was in my physiology that I was worthless, I was nothing, I was this, but here’s this person who looks like me or who has come from the same background as me who is living on a whole other dimension in a whole other world. Maybe I can live in that world too. And that’s like, a full, full body change up.

And that’s what they say about adverse childhood experiences. Even if a child doesn’t live in a safe home, if there is one stable adult that is present and emotionally regulated and emotional attuned and safe that is around this child for a period of time, it doesn’t even have to be that much, but that shows that child that and mirrors that for that kid, that kid’s likelihood of having a different outcome is so vast.

And I think that just speaks to the power of what we’re doing with coaching. It’s like, one person who thinks differently can change the trajectory of your life.

Stacey: And can impact generation after generation after generation.

Shyla: That’s right. It’s powerful. And that’s what you say is there are people who don’t realize that they can – I think that’s what I appreciate about the Black conservative movement, and I’m sure you know this if your husband is Republican. It’s all about personal responsibility.

Stacey: Yeah, that’s what he talks about a lot. But I always – my argument back to him. So I have to play devil’s advocate. My argument back, which I already said it, is but if you have never been given the education of personal accountability or whatever the word you used was, it’s like, how can you? So I think there’s – the truth could be somewhere in the middle. We do have that personal empowerment, but then we also have to go out and help people have that personal empowerment.

Shyla: Because if it’s not in the experience of the awareness, if you do not know that world exists, like, before we discovered these planets, they were living, they were existing. We just didn’t know. We didn’t know that until we discovered it. And I think that’s kind of what you’re saying.

Stacey: Too about racism with White people, they don’t subscribe to it because it’s already existing. They don’t subscribe to it. And I say they like, that if we don’t know it’s there. And I have been really aware of just – I’ve never been someone that I would say is a huge social activist and I don’t, or super educated. So when y’all say fancy stuff, I’m like, what? Say that again in like, non-fancy words.

But I think that when I’m sitting here learning about racism and talking to my students and I realize that I have a struggle around how to communicate the way I want, in a way that won’t be offensive, it’s like, all of a sudden I’m aware of things I could say that would be offensive. And I think before it was like, I don’t know if as White people, we just don’t say things so that it doesn’t come off offensive?

For example, referring to someone as Black or African American. I’ve heard it, people prefer that different terms. And so would a White person not even bring it up or not even use it in a way that could be even offensive just because of their lack of education of understanding a different group of people? I guess that’s what I’m trying to say is it’s like, we have to give power to people who’ve experienced racism. Personal power, I think.

And clearly I’m not the foremost expert on what the solution is, but if I looked at what can I contribute, it could be giving people who have experienced trauma of any kind, people who’ve experienced racism, power for their own personal ability to create opportunity, money, to create the life experience that they want.

And I think there does have to be this place too where even when you have that and you have racist things happen to you over and over and over, it’s like, we also have to heal that. We have to heal that. And maybe it’s not the trauma for White people. It’s more like the segregation, the disconnect of we aren’t the same and I don’t spend as much time learning about you as I do me. Does that make sense? You can disagree with me. That’s just what I’m thinking about.

Shyla: Yeah, I think it’s interesting.

Stacey: They’re both so important.

Shyla: Yeah. It’s interesting. And that’s why I’m fearful of the thought police in the sense that…

Stacey: I know. We’re just going to say on this podcast, can you suspend your policing of thoughts? We’re having a safe conversation. The listeners need to suspend policing the thoughts.

Shyla: I’m fearful of the thought police on the internet, and in some ways it’s good. I’m always seeing both sides. But in some ways, it’s good because it’s bringing people into awareness. We’re seeing – Brooke even said like, yo, I wasn’t in enough pain about this shit. I was just oblivious, I needed that chaffing for me to be like, oh, I need to pay attention. I need to kind of look around.

But I think – and it’s understandable why people are feeling the need to police. Because again, we just witnessed a trauma. Everybody’s in survival mode. We witnessed this murder, we’re witnessing it over and over again. That’s traumatic. So I think giving grace to people in this time is super important, just from a trauma lens and a trauma-informed perspective.

Because everybody, there is that energy is just in the world. It’s buzzing on the internet. People are talking about it. It’s on the news. That is traumatic in and of itself. But I think my concern with the thought policing is like, I think that it might quell authentic conversation.

Stacey: Yes.

Shyla: I don’t want people to feel like they can’t say, “But I don’t understand White privilege,” because I don’t want them to be afraid of people coming on and being like, well that’s White privilege. I want them to be able to say that. Not because – but because I want them to feel like they can open that dialogue in their community and have that conversation because that’s what’s going to bring the change is to really have an authentic conversation.

It’s just like thought work. If you’re doing thought work and you’re putting through down that you don’t really believe because you want them to be nicer than what’s really under there, you’re not going to get anything done.

Stacey: Yes.

Shyla: You need to put down there the nasty thoughts, the bad thoughts that you’re afraid of thinking, afraid of looking at because that’s where your transformation is. And so that’s what concerns me about the thought policing and even the whole White ally thing.

I think Kara Loewentheil does a really good job of explaining allyship, but I have to be honest. I feel like my initial thought is like, I do not need an ally. That’s my first thought. But then I can see the layers of it. Like okay, but then Shyla, if you’re in a room and there’s a bunch of people there and somebody says something ignorant and you’re the only one, don’t you think it would be nice for half the room to be a little bit more educated so that if you brought that up or you have that conversation, you wouldn’t be attacked and you wouldn’t be shut down that changes the group dynamic?

So I can see there where people are saying like, we want White people to do this work, but if you listen to Malcolm, Malcolm X, if you want to go really hardcore Black nationalist, which I am not, but Malcolm was like, no. He was like, Black independence, we do this, we are dignified, we are powerful, we don’t hate ourselves, we don’t need the government.

He was like – and he created a group of people. If you watch that documentary, Who Killed Malcolm X, the guy says he gave us dignity because he wasn’t asking with his hands out for something from someone that he knew he couldn’t control. So I mean, there’s sides – again, this is why there is both sides.

Because I think there should be though, some authentic conversation, and I understand where the ally thing is coming from, and I understand the Black voices that are like, this is exhausting, I am tired. But for me, I am afraid of why should we feel like other people should take over for what we are advocating for for ourselves?

Stacey: Yeah.

Shyla: But then I can see it…

Stacey: Do you think that they think that other people should take over or just that other people should help out?

Shyla: I think that they feel like other people…

Stacey: I’m asking because I don’t know.

Shyla: Yeah, I think it’s a feeling like other people should do their own work. Like here, it’s almost like this sense of like, from what I’m experiencing, it’s like, this sense online of I’ve been doing this work and I’ve been trying to explain these things to my boss, to my… I’ve been trying to say this and you haven’t been listening.

And then now all of a sudden, everybody is flooding and wants me to explain it. And it’s like, you do your own work. But at the same time, it’s like, we are in a relationship with each other in our communities. And so it’s just, I desire balance and nuance in these conversations.

Stacey: And I think what’s going to happen though is we have to have really messy non-balanced nuanced conversations to get there.

Shyla: Yeah, absolutely. That’s totally the case.

Stacey: It’s like when you first start using the model. It’s so awful. And people feel so aggressive about it and triggered. But it’s like, when I get people that are angry about the model on 2K, on the calls, I’m like, I just release the reins to you don’t even need to learn the model, it’s not a problem at all. But if you do want to, let’s have a conversation.

But then the more you use the model, the more sophisticated you get at coaching yourself and so people probably don’t expect to see my models. They’re like, there’s one sentence, one feeling, and an entire book of actions that are very detailed and very specific. I’m like, that’s when you get really into the model and you’re using it very specific.

I think that we have to have these kind of basic messy conversations and hopefully, I’m open for learning everything. I also think that’s my superpower. There is no opinion that’s unwelcome.

Shyla: That’s right, yeah.

Stacey: With me. As a coach, there can’t be. I can’t judge my clients as a coach because then I don’t serve them. Like, my job isn’t to tell them my beliefs. My job is to help them take their beliefs that they want to have and create the results they want with them.

Shyla: Yeah, absolutely. The thing with the model too, I think why people get up in arms about it, it’s kind of weird because the model can cancel itself out. Your thoughts create your results is a thought. So you can just…

Stacey: You have to believe that first.

Shyla: Right, yeah. But you can use that to just discount that and be like, well that’s a thought, I don’t have to use it, I don’t have to believe that because I never interpreted Brooke Castillo being like, you have to use the model, this is your religion. It’s a tool. It’s a tool. All tools, all modalities have their limitations. It is inherent to the thing. Because humans are complex, we’re nuance.

But that doesn’t mean that – it’s almost like people see the model and they take it so, almost like, literally. Like, literally. But you can turn it inside out and move it around and is it serving you? That’s the question. It’s interesting.

Stacey: I love it. So I want to – can I read your post? Can we wrap it up with that post? Because I think it’s so beautiful. Let me pull it up. So this is one of the first posts that I actually saw once people started posting in 2K about the racial injustices, about the pain and trauma that they were experiencing.

And as a coach, I’m trying to quickly figure out how do I serve my people at the highest level possible, how do I help them? And then you posted this and it just felt like you really took the reins of leadership and inspired me to be like, okay yes, this is the work.

So she says, “The need for high quality thinking and feeling is not less necessary in a crisis. It is more necessary. This is the time that our work is in the highest demand. Humanity is looking for another way. We are seeing collective thoughts creating collective results. We are seeing the collective starting with the action line to try and make a change, but we know, we know it’s our thoughts that create our results. We have proven this time and time again with our work. It applies to everything. Change starts with the quality of how we think and the depth of our ability to see how it is making us feel with deep awareness. This just happens to be our specialty. The need for us to personally use the model on ourselves and all the other tools at our disposal is completely necessary now. I have the most paid clients I’ve ever had now in my business in the midst of these crises, and it’s because of my thinking. And we can get the most results in any area, including social change and system change from the quality of our thinking.”

So good. Thank you for being such an incredible leader in my community and sharing your thoughts and just having this conversation with me. I’m like, okay, now there’s more books to add to my reading list and now there’s more things to consider. And you know, I think it could be hard for you to have this conversation on such a public platform, and I want to acknowledge that your voice might speak for that person that feels like they’re kind of like, the middle of the road person. And I think the middle of the road people, I consider myself middle of the road.

Shyla: Totally, you are.

Stacey: I can be in a room with all Republicans and feel so much love and I may not agree with everything but I don’t need to agree to love. And I can be in a room with liberals and feel at home too. So I feel very middle of the road as well, and I think that we can be a great bridge for bringing people together. People may not have that same opinion but…

Shyla: I think it’s essential. I think it’s essential for the work we’re doing, especially for my particular line of work. When we talk about trauma healing, if somebody – because trauma is about the perception and how it gets stuck in you and so you have to be open and just listen and feel that and hold that.

And to be an effective coach, like we were talking about before we started recording, that is the work, to be able to sit there and hold that experience, regardless of what your judgments and your thoughts are. You have to hold that experience in order for there to even be safety to bridge into something new. So I think that is a superpower of yours for sure, to be able to see all these perspectives.

Stacey: It’s a superpower of yours.

Shyla: Thank you.

Stacey: Yeah, I love that. But I also think it’s like, I’m working on also there’s a need for every kind of person everywhere. Like my fiancé, he used to drive me crazy with how conservative he is, but I also feel like it grounds me and I have this – we have different views on a lot of things, but I love how rooted he is and confident he is in his beliefs. And he’s Catholic, and in his religion, so he just has this like…

I didn’t grow up with a religion. I didn’t have that. And he has this belief and this sense of this higher power that he always just feels taken care of. Like it’s going to be okay, everything is always going to be okay. It was interesting to see the different reactions of people with George Floyd’s murder and how they thought the murderer would be taken care of.

So Neil’s like, of course he’ll go to jail, and I’m like, he better go to jail, what if he doesn’t? What if he gets off? What about these other people? Before people were even talking about the other people watching, I’m like, but these other police officers were just watching, standing around, how are they not culpable? Why did this one guy only get – I tend to have this like, someone’s going to get screwed over mentality. Whereas he has this like – that’s why he does all of our customer service calls.

Shyla: He’s taking care of it.

Stacey: Because I’ll be the one yelling in the background, “Tell them this.” And he’s like, you have to be nice and you have to be calm. So I appreciate that in my life. I love having that experience and having that window into that, that you can believe. He just always believes everything is going to be okay. And I’m always fearful that they’re not. And I love having that exchange. And now it’s helped me kind of be in the middle here and say how can I contribute?

Shyla: And that’s interesting to go full circle all the way to the beginning of this conversation. That speaks to the differences of the early imprinting of being taken care of.

Stacey: He had the happiest childhood ever.

Shyla: Right.

Stacey: You know how some people have one crazy parent? He’s like, my parents are amazing. He was just telling that to – we were having dinner with friends, and they were like, you know, your parents, sometimes how you’re embarrassed by them. And he’s like, my parents are the greatest. Not of us at the table could identify. We were like, what?

Shyla: And that’s the depth of those first early years of life, before we can even remember, before we’re even talking. What our perception is of ourselves and the world is a reflection of how well we are taken care of. It’s so funny that you use those words. He just has this belief that everything’s going to be taken care of.

And you go back into the experiences and you trace the physiology and he was taken care of. Whereas those of us who have had a little less care in our childhood are like, hold on, what’s going on? What’s going to happen? The other shoe is going to drop.

Stacey: And my tendency is always that we won’t be taken care of. I’m noticing that in me is my thought is always we won’t be taken care of, so that’s why I get so irate. And then he doesn’t understand it, and he’s like, why are you getting so angry? It’ll be fine, don’t take it out on this person, they’re just trying to help.

And my brain is like, they’re working against us, they’re trying to – and it’s so fascinating to have this conversation. I never attributed that really to like, that started in childhood.

Shyla: Yeah, super cool.

Stacey: So fascinating. Okay, I think that we could talk about this forever. I think that my audience is going to get so much out of this. How can they contact you? If they are a coach that is struggling, I know that you work with everybody, anyone that has childhood trauma, but I do think that this is a prevalent thing that I will say that I see with my clients is they’ve got some shit that keeps them from finding clients, just from so much trauma that they haven’t worked through.

So I think that there will be people that hear this conversation and they know automatically if it’s them or not. If you’re like, oh, do I? Probably not. The people who have it usually will hear and be like, oh, that’s me. I need to call her.

Shyla: You can feel it right away.

Stacey: You know right away. You won’t be confused. How can they reach out to you? How can they connect with you?

Shyla: There’s a few ways. You can just go directly to my website, Or you can email me directly at Or you can just DM me on Instagram, @growhealchange.

Stacey: I love it. And we’re going to link that all up in the show notes, just in case anyone doesn’t want to go to the show notes, they can get it right here off the podcast, but we will put all that information in the show notes.

And I do want to encourage anyone who is a coach, if you have any trauma, if you’re experiencing trauma with the race crisis that we have happening in our country that has always been happening but is definitely at a peak of tension and fear and trauma coming up for everyone, if that’s you, if you have anything that you need to work through, please reach out to her and get that help because I will tell you, Shyla said that she’s seen it in my work.

I coached for a year before I ever decided to start my business, and that was the work that we did. And it was the most important foundational work for me to build my business. And it may not seem like that, but it really truly is. It’s so hard to hold space for other people’s trauma when you haven’t dealt with your own. That is so important.

So reach out to her, hire her, do a consult, and thank you. Just thank you so much for having this conversation and opening my eyes to even more things that I can think about and being such a leader in our community.

Shyla: Thank you so much for having me. I loved it. I loved this time together. I loved getting to chat with you one-on-one. It was awesome.

Stacey: It was so much fun. Bye.

Shyla: Bye.

Hey, if you are ready to make money as a life coach, I want to invite you to join my 2K for 2K program, where you’re going to make your first $2000, the hardest part, and then $200,000 using my proven formula. It’s risk-free. You either make your 2K or I give you your 2K back. Just head over to We’ll see you inside.

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